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Our Town

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  35,285 Ratings  ·  1,145 Reviews
Our Town was first produced and published in 1938 to wide acclaim. This Pulitzer Prize-winning drama of life in the town of Grover 's Corners, an allegorical representation of all life, has become a classic. It is Thornton Wilder's most renowned and most frequently performed play.

It is now reissued in this handsome hardcover edition, featuring a new Foreword by Donald Marg
Paperback, 128 pages
Published September 9th 1998 by Harper Perennial (first published 1938)
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Sep 05, 2007 Anthony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
American playwriting at its best. I think the most stunning thing is that this book manages to convey a deep sense of human tragedy without portraying people who rabidly abuse each other. This is also why many hack directors (not to mention high schools) have been able to produce the work as a saccharine fairytale, and the bad reputation of this play can certainly be attributed to these careless people. But you, my dear critical thinker--you should read this.
Nov 19, 2011 Daniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Goodbye, Grover’s Corners

I saw a really terrible movie this weekend called "Stardust". I thought that it would be terrific since the cast is star-studded and mostly because it was based on a novel by the very clever Neil Gaiman (who I am a big fan of, Sandman, American Gods, Good Omens & the "Brakiri Day of the Dead" episode of Babylon 5 for fans in the know). But alas, the movie sucked (although Deniro was funny. Yarg!!).

But the movie also stars Claire Daines who I used to be a big fan of i
Amber Tucker
Okay, first of all – because people will criticize me for it, and rightly so – I have not seen this play. I fully appreciate that plays are written in order to be viewed on stage, not on page, and that people who judge a play after merely reading it are probably the bane of a playwright's life. That said, I feel that if there's any play that's could be "seen" just as well in the mind of the reader, it's Our Town.. From the setting to the plot to the characters' actions, the entire thing is almo ...more

Description: Our Town was first produced and published in 1938 to wide acclaim. This Pulitzer Prize-winning drama of life in the small village of Grover's Corners, an allegorical representation of all life, has become a classic. It is Thornton Wilder's most renowned and most frequently performed play.

Our Town is a 1940 film adaptation of a play of the same name by Thornton Wilder starring William Holden, Martha Scott, Fay Bainter, Beulah Bondi, Thomas Mitchell, Guy Kibbee and Frank Craven. It wa
Apr 14, 2007 Lydia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: drama
A timeless masterpiece!This is absolutely my favorite play. It is timeless and universal, pertaining to anyone, anywhere. The story takes place in a small town at the turn of the century, in 1901, and takes place over the course of about fourteen years. The story line is extremely simplistic, but allows the reader to focus on the deeper themes that author, Thorton Wilder, is able to display. The play has three acts that each represent daily life, love and marriage, and death. Living people are p ...more
Jan 22, 2015 MLE rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hated, play

Winner of the 1938 Pulitzer Prize for drama.

Occasionally a book comes along that makes me say, now this is why I read. Thornton Wilder was perfect when he wrote this and the result was perfection. "Our Town" struck every chord just right for me. I grew up near a small town on a farm and I recognized this town, and I recognized these people. Through the first two acts of this play I was loving it and thinking, this is the Americana that is fast disappearing, maybe already has. Then act 3 knocked
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
It’s a regular little town in the US a hundred years ago. It’s an extraordinary little town in the US a hundred years ago. It’s very ordinariness makes it extraordinary. As is, Wilder hints, all life. To walk. To talk. To eat. To drink. And, perhaps most of all, sharing this amazing life with others. Read this play and you will remember to be alive. To everything.
I have read this book too many times to count. It is amazingly ageless and speaks to each generation. I was priviledged to see Paul Newman open as the Stage Manager on opening night in Wesport,CT. I read quotes from it at my younger sister's funeral. I carries a lot of weight with me. Read the book before you ever see a high school production!
Mar 18, 2013 Ted rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Ghosts of Belfast review, Part IV
Part I
Part II
Part III

The Troubles, continued
(view spoiler)
Nov 01, 2016 Sookie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, 2016
The characters are ordinary.
The story is ordinary.
The happenstances are ordinary.
The life-love-marriage-death, is ordinary.
The life of Grover Corners is ordinary.
The setting is ordinary.


Thronton Wilder snatches these mundane moments from our lives and puts them on his stage: raw, exposed and vulnerable for all to see. An ambition to change the way of life dances in the eyes of a young man, a young woman adores the moon and romanticizes a future, an elderly couple pass into quietness
Jack Rhea
Oct 13, 2011 Jack Rhea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The hardest thing for someone to do is to appreciate the simplest details in life that would mean the most to you. After Thornton Wilder read Stein's novel The Making of Americans, he decided to write his award winning play Our Town. Our Town traces the childhood, marriage, and death of Emily Webb and George Gibbs and their families. Mr. Wilder uses the Stage Manager shares the examples of the universal meanings behind the ordinary lives that these people live in Grover's Corners, New Hampshire
وائل المنعم
A beautiful and sad play.

The play is performed without a set and the actors mime their actions without the use of props, With a narration by a stage manager, All these elements make the play very interesting and challengeable to any director.

I always feel sad when writers talk about the ordinary every-day life, Don't kown exactly why?, In this play along with the ordinary lives of its characters, The third act with its funeral atmosphere made it almost a melancholy play.

Wilder's language in the
Maryam Rajee
Dec 15, 2015 Maryam Rajee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
"Mother Gibbs, I never realized before how troubled and how ... how in dark live persons are."
Feb 17, 2016 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Simple, effective, timeless.
Mar 13, 2016 Brenna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"She (Emily) learns that each life - though it appears to be a repetition among millions-can be felt to be inestimably precious. Though the realization of it is present to us seldom, briefly, and incommunicably. At that moment there are no walls, no chairs, no tables: all is inward. Our true life is the imagination and in the memory." - Thornton Wilder

I can't add anything special to the words of the brilliant man that wrote this book, but here is what this book has caused me to consider:

The mome
Adam Nelson
Jan 17, 2012 Adam Nelson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I must admit that I kind of checked in and out for the first half of this play, from the beginning through about midway through the second act. I had begun with the prejudice that this play was corny, a little too folksy to be taken seriously. This myth was perpetuated by remembering how it was performed on both Growing Pains and The Wonder Years when I was a kid. It seemed that if a television series about kids had to show those kids as teens acting out a play, might as well show them pretendin ...more
Jul 31, 2015 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I surprise myself with ratings.

So this is Our Town. It is simplicity. It is a snapshot in time. It is a familiarity between audience and stage. I read in another review the most interesting part: it conveys a message without violence. And that is indeed something rare in American plays. Everything has its share of alcohol, of abuse, of the pursuit of the failed American dream - that gets boring. Other plays have an excess of stage props and directions [e.g. move URC, cue sound effect 8, dim ligh
Melissa Rudder
Feb 05, 2009 Melissa Rudder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teach-it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 18, 2013 Emilee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, favorites
I am doing this play as a Productions Company at my high school right now with a very talented director, following a concept from director David Cromer, who has really been able to help me see the beauty in this play and the messages it sends. What I love about Our Town is the natural, real communication that is in it. The characters, especially in those one-on-one conversations, express such beautiful, real feelings to each other, and are honest in their words and reactions. Especially the scen ...more
Apr 10, 2014 Anne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I honestly cannot remember ever having read Our Town before, and yet so much of it feels familiar--which may be the whole point. It's a lovely play, and I'd be interested to see it performed onstage.

Oddly enough, though, the thing that has stuck with me since reading the play about a week ago is the nonchalance about death. The Stage Manager tells us that Wally Webb, Emily's brother, died when his appendix burst on a camping trip, and I realized with a shock that when Emily died, Emily's parent
This is not the first time that I read something because there was a mention of it in a book or on TV (both, in this case> Girl Meets World and Bag of Bones, by King). Still, it has more meaning to my current emotional state than some other stories, which I probably like more.
Since it's unconventional, it's hard for me not to be pleased about it. I am predictable in that I revel in literary disorder and often seek it, theater being one form that rarely disappoints in this sense. So, the frame
Elinaz Ys
Feb 04, 2015 Elinaz Ys rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theater
پرده سومش رو خيلى دوست داشتم.
اين نمايشنامه شيوه جديدى از توضيح صحنه در راستاى فاصله گذارى برشت رو داره
و زندگى انسان رو در سه بخش نمايش مى دهد.
Kevin Topolovec
Act 1: okay
Act 2: okay
Act 3: what
I liked it! Very good Play! I enjoy good scripts!
Nov 11, 2010 Danielle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is the second time I've read this play and it was a different experience but still great. One of the most interesting things about this play to me is the contrast of a slow, rural town presented in a more modern way (at least it feels modern, even though the model is centuries old). It also paints such a vivid picture of the lives of these people while remaining universal and relatable.

If you read the edition pictured here, be sure to read in the back an article from the New York Times tha
Apr 05, 2013 Bryce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thorton Wilder's book "Our Town" is a must read that was published in 1938. It is set in New Hampshire, Grovers Corners which is an average size town that represents much that an average life in town would. The book is split up into three acts. Characters throughout the book are: George Gibbs, stage manager, emily webb, dr. gibbs, mrs. gibbs, mrs. soames, mr. webb, simon stimson, wally webb, rebacca gibbs, Joe crowell jr., howie newsome, professor willard, si cowell, sam craig, constable warren, ...more
Aug 09, 2010 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been reading Thornton Wilder lately, and I noted at one point that he said about this play, "Lord! What I got myself in for. A theologico-metaphisico transcription for the Purgatorio with panels of American rural genre-stuff." My high school did the play many years ago, and I remember on the one hand being near tears at the end, and on the other being oh-so-superior to its sentimentality. I haven't seen it since, and I'm a great admirer of Dante, so I thought I'd better give it a try. It's ...more
Tanya Lolonis
Mar 25, 2012 Tanya Lolonis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We had to read this in high school (sophomore year, I believe), and I was so moved by "Our Town" that I scoured our school library for anything else he'd written. And I read it all, and thoroughly enjoyed. This remains my favorite, and his best, stripping away distractions to explore universal truths in small acts, simple words -- life, death, love. Very basic, very, very good. Even now, some (ahem) years later, I can still feel its emotional purity and force. I remember also learning about his ...more
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USA Geography Cha...: Our Town by Thorton Wilder 1 4 Dec 29, 2014 06:28AM  
life, love,and death 2 8 Sep 23, 2014 05:10PM  
Can't we just look at each other? 1 23 Jun 19, 2014 03:51AM  
Our Town analysis, themes, trivia, audio, video 2 35 Mar 21, 2013 01:35PM  
Hollinger: 1 Spri...: Question Set #2 6 20 Jan 26, 2012 02:30PM  
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Thornton Niven Wilder was an American playwright and novelist. He received three Pulitzer Prizes, one for his novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey and two for his plays Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth, and a National Book Award for his novel The Eighth Day.

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“Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you.” 1566 likes
“We all know that something is eternal. And it ain’t houses and it ain’t names, and it ain’t earth, and it ain’t even the stars . . . everybody knows in their bones that something is eternal, and that something has to do with human beings. All the greatest people ever lived have been telling us that for five thousand years and yet you’d be surprised how people are always losing hold of it. There’s something way down deep that’s eternal about every human being.” 134 likes
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